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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Effect of Some Plant-Based Substances on Microbial Content and Sperm Quality Parameters of Bull Semen

Cojkic, Aleksandar; Hansson, Ingrid; Johannisson, Anders; Morrell, Jane M.


The rapid emergence of antibacterial resistance requires alternatives to antibiotics to be found, including for semen preservation. One of the possible alternatives would be to use plant-based substances with known antimicrobial effects. The objective of this study was to test the antimicrobial effect of pomegranate powder, ginger, and curcumin extract in two concentrations on bull semen microbiota after exposure for <2 h and 24 h. An additional aim was to evaluate the effect of these substances on sperm quality parameters. The bacterial count in semen was low from the beginning; however, a reduction was present for all tested substances compared with control. A reduction in bacterial count in control samples was also observed with time. Curcumin at a concentration of 5%, reduced bacterial count by 32% and was the only substance that had a slight positive effect on sperm kinematics. The other substances were associated with a decline in sperm kinematics and viability. Neither concentration of curcumin had a deleterious effect on sperm viability parameters measured by flow cytometry. The results of this study indicate that curcumin extract at a concentration of 5% can reduce the bacterial count and does not have a negative influence on bull sperm quality.


bull semen; pomegranate; ginger; curcumin; antibacterial effect

Published in

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
2023, Volume: 24, number: 4, article number: 3435